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Beefed up BeagleBone Black clone launches on Indiegogo

Mar 15, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 1,961 views

SanCloud launched its $52 to $69 BeagleBone Enhanced clone, doubling RAM, moving to GbE, and adding a USB port plus optional sensors and WiFi.

While much of the open-spec embedded industry has standardized on the Raspberry Pi’s 40-pin expansion interface, the second most imitated community board is the open source, Linux-ready BeagleBone Black, with its dual 46-pin connectors. One of the BeagleBone Black clones announced in recent months was SanCloud’s BeagleBone Enhanced. This beefed up version of the BeagleBone Black SBC has now launched on Indiegogo, starting at $52.

SanCloud BeagleBone Enhanced with wireless card
(click image to enlarge)

While Seeed Studio’s $39 BeagleBone Green both added and subtracted features compared to the BeagleBone Black, SanCloud’s BeagleBone Enhanced is all additive, including the $4 to $17 boost in price over the currently $48 BeagleBone Black, depending on the early bird package. Standard pricing is just slightly higher.

As we reported in January when SanCloud unveiled the BeagleBone Black-like BeagleBone Enhanced, the SBC doubles RAM to 1GB, and adds 1MB of SPI NOR boot flash. The boot flash is listed as optional, but it appears to be included for free in all the available funding packages.

BeagleBone Enhanced (left) compared to BeagleBone Black
(click images to enlarge)

The BeagleBone Enhanced also upgrades the Ethernet port to GbE, and adds a second USB 2.0 host port and two USB headers. One of those headers is used for a special connector that hooks up an optional WiFi/Bluetooth daughtercard.

BeagleBone Enhanced (left) and BeagleBone Enhanced Light
(click images to enlarge)

All of the above features are found on both the BeagleBone Enhanced Light board, starting at a $52 early bird price, and the full-featured, $57 BeagleBone Enhanced. The latter also adds an ST LP331 260-1260mbar barometer and temperature sensor, as well as a 6-axis MEMS accelerometer/gyro. If a stretch goal is reached, the latter will bump up to a 9-axis model that adds a compass. The addition of wireless to either the Enhanced Light or Enhanced models pushes the early bird prices to $60 and $65, respectively.

Like the BeagleBone Green, the BeagleBone Enhanced has been certified by as being compatible with BeagleBone Black capes and software releases. It uses the same 1GHz, Cortex-A8 Sitara AM3358 SoC from backer Texas Instruments along with an Imagination PowerVR SGX530 GPU.

Other BeagleBone Black like features include 4GB eMMC flash, a microSD slot, and micro-USB OTG and USB host ports. There’s also the micro-HDMI port, which was subtracted from the IoT-oriented BeagleBone Green. The Enhanced also has the same dual 46-pin expansion headers and other BeagleBone Black features.

Two more views of BeagleBone Enhanced
(click images to enlarge)

SanCloud has gotten off to a slow start on its flexible funding Indiegogo campaign, but it has two months left, and the company says it will fulfill all orders even without funding.

Further information

The SanCloud BeagleBone Enhanced Light and BeagleBone Enhanced are available into May on Indiegogo in packages starting at $52. Shipments start in September. More information may be found on the BeagleBone Enhanced Indiegogo page, and in our original BeagleBone Enhanced coverage.

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